January 31, 2023

A la Carte: Creamy Corn Risotto for a Super Summer’s Day


A delicious bowl of creamy corn risotto.

Is it possible that September is in the works? Must be, since I am writing this column on Aug. 17.

Yesterday I went shopping with my friend Barbara Sullivan. It has been so hot that, when I feel like I need some exercise after my air-conditioned condo, I get into my air-conditioned car, picking up Barbara in her air-conditioned house and driving to a mall where all the shops are outside … but air-conditioned. It seems as if this is the most exercise I can manage.

I did little retail damage (two tops at Chico, a pair of white pants—those all on sale—and a pretty blouse for the fall and winter—not on sale at Soft Surroundings). We had lunch (vegetarian risotto for me, veggie pasta for Barbara) at Burton’s and I decided to make risotto for my dinner, since I always have Arborio rice at home and tons of veggies on the counter.

Instead, since I had forgotten I had a board of ed meeting at 6 p.m., I ate a quick sandwich. Tonight I will make the risotto (and there will be more produce since I pick up my CSA this afternoon). I will stop at the supermarket and pick up some fresh snap peas, arugula and mushrooms and at the farm market at Washington Park in Groton and get some cherry or grape tomatoes to add to the bounty on my counter: sweet peppers, summer squash, sweet corn.

I like the recipe I have for corn risotto, but I will add the rest of the slightly cooked fresh veggies and add them to the risotto. Leftovers could be microwaved for lunch or dinner the next day.

I am really looking forward to my dinner.

Creamy Corn Risotto

Adapted from Cooking Light, August 2013, page 110

Yield: serves 6

1 large red bell pepper

4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)

1 and one-third cup one-percent  milk

2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 and one-half cups unsalted chicken stock

One-half cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One-quarter cup dry white wine

One-half cup sliced green onions (scallions)

Preheat broiler to high.

Cut pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Wrap peppers in foil; let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop (or use jarred red peppers).

Combine corn, milk and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in stock; keep warm over low heat.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add onions and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in rice, salt and black pepper; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 30 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen brown bits. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in 1 and one half cups corn mixture; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve one-half cup corn mixture. Add remaining corn mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of corn mixture is absorbed before adding the net (about 20 minutes total). Remove pan from heat; stir in one-half corn mixture, bell pepper and green onions.